Euro extended its decline against the dollar in the European trading session as uncertainty over the Greek debt situation dampened risk sentiment on Monday. The single currency is under pressure ahead of the EU Economic Summit due to start in Brussels, where the second Greek bailout package will be discussed.
Investors are nervous about the slow progress of the Greek debt restructuring talks. Meanwhile Portuguese borrowing costs hit record highs this morning, though a reasonably well received Italian bond auction helped give some support to the euro early in the session. EURUSD fell to a session low of 1.3090, off a six-week high reached on Friday at 1.3232. Euro’s decline accelerated after US personal consumption data.
Euro slipped against the Swiss franc to touch a four-month low as investors sold off the riskier single currency for the safe haven franc. EURCHF fell close to the SNB cap, touching 1.2041.This is the lowest since September 14, which was shortly after the 1.20 franc cap was put in place by the Swiss central bank on September 6. Meanwhile dollar gained to move off the December 2 low of 0.9113, as USDCHF rose to a session high of 0.9201.
Sterling gained versus a broadly weaker euro as Greece debt concerns weigh down. EURGBP fell to 0.8351 from 0.8396, moving off a one-month high hit on Friday of 84.08. However, the pound fell against the dollar, tracking falls in the euro versus the dollar, trimming gains made earlier in the session. GBPUSD touched lows of 1.1670.
The dollar held onto gains despite a report showing US personal spending unexpectedly dipped in December, though incomes rose more than some predicted.